Bowl projections for every Mountain West team, including Nevada

Nevada football
Nevada football is headed to a bowl game for the second straight season. (Jenna Holland/NSN)

Barring something crazy, Nevada will be headed to back-to-back bowl games, although that won't be official until Sunday afternoon. There are 79 bowl-eligible teams for 78 bowl spots, but the Wolf Pack's seven-win status basically locks up a spot in the postseason despite the Mountain West having seven bowl-eligible teams for five bowl tie-ins. So where will Nevada land? Here are the latest projections on the interwebs, with my projections below.

Bowl projections

CBS Sports' Jerry Palm: Famous Idaho Potato Bowl vs. Miami (Ohio)

ESPN's Kyle Bonagura: New Mexico Bowl vs. UAB

ESPN's Mark Schlabach: Arizona Bowl vs. Georgia Southern

Stadium's Brett McMurphy: Famous Idaho Potato Bowl vs. Miami (Ohio)

USA Today's Erick Smith: Cheez-It Bowl vs. Washington State

Athlon's Steven Lassan: Famous Idaho Potato Bowl vs. Ohio

College Football News: New Mexico Bowl vs. Southern Miss

Mountain West Wire: Arizona Bowl vs. Georgia Southern New Mexico Bowl vs. Southern Miss

Bleacher Report: Arizona Bowl vs. Georgia Southern

Some thoughts

Of the 10 projections above, there are three votes each for the Arizona, New Mexico and Famous Idaho Potato bowls plus one for the Cheez-It Bowl. That makes sense because it does seem even odds Nevada ends up in Boise, Albuquerque or Tucson, which are basically tied for the bottom-three bowls in the MW this season. The Cheez-It Bowl, which is in Phoenix, is interesting because that bowl pits the Pac-12 versus the Big 12, which has only six bowl-eligible teams for seven bowl tie-ins, so it won't be able to fill at least one of those games. The Cheez-It Bowl is ranked sixth out of seven Big 12 bowls (the First Responder Bowl is seventh), so there's a good chance a MW teams ends up in Phoenix. The Frisco Bowl, in Dallas, also is an option as that pits an American Athletic Conference team versus an at-large with the MW being a backup tie-in. The AAC has seven bowl spots for seven bowl teams but is in line to get the Group of 5's New Year's Six bowl slot and would end up one team short of filling its bowls. Finally, the Redbox Bowl, in San Francisco, is an option. The MW has a backup agreement in that bowl, which pits the Big 10 versus the Pac-12. Both conferences have the exact amount of bowl teams for bowl spots, so it seems unlikely a MW team gets in this bowl.

Murray's MW bowl projections

Las Vegas Bowl: Boise State

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl: Utah State

Armed Forces Bowl: Air Force

Hawaii Bowl: Hawaii

Arizona Bowl: Wyoming

Cheez-It Bowl: San Diego State

New Mexico Bowl: Nevada vs. Southern Miss on Dec. 21, a rematch of the 2011 Hawaii Bowl

I don't see Nevada going to the Arizona Bowl for the second straight season and the third time in four years. That'd be dumb when the New Mexico and Famous Idaho Potato bowls are sitting open. My guess is the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl grabs Utah State or Wyoming, which would travel better to the game. Utah State hasn't played in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl since 2015 and hosted Boise State this season, so it hasn't visited Boise in 2019. That fits makes sense. That led me to slot Nevada in the New Mexico Bowl. The two potential curveballs are if Hawaii beats Boise State in the MW title game (and thus plays in the Las Vegas Bowl) or Boise State gets the Group of 5's New Year's Six bowl slot (which would require Cincinnati beating Memphis in the AAC title game). If one of those two things happen, there would be a shakeup. But assuming Boise State and Memphis win Saturday, my guess is Nevada is headed to Albuquerque for its first New Mexico Bowl since 2012, which was Chris Ault's last game as Nevada's coach.

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